Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is 200 Years Old Today

His name lives on in South Minneapolis:

Happy 200th birthday, Longfellow

Longfellow’s popularity accorded him an influence far beyond that of other public figures. His poems gave human voice to Indians and slaves, promoted strong women, and held forth on the horrors of the Civil War, witchcraft in Salem, the suppression of the Quakers and racial prejudice. His writings were discussed by Americans across the growing country, shaping both their self-image and their ethic of tolerance. Longfellow’s unique ability to combine history with rhyme sang to the nation’s soul.

The Longfellow House Minnehaha Park is a replica of his Cambridge, MA home.

Though Longfellow never traveled to Minnesota or Louisiana, his epic poems “The Song of Hiawatha” and “Evangeline” have influenced both those regions, where the stories unfolded, and each still celebrates the poet. Scores of towns, roads, scenic highways, bridges, housing developments and hundreds of schools are named after the characters and locales of these poems, as well as for Longfellow himself.

Plenty more can be found at Wikipedia.

There is a Longfellow, Minneapolis page on Wikipedia, but it’s just a stub at this point. Add what you can.

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